NSU Volleyball: Brister’s big night lifts NSU past Abilene Christian

Northwestern State volleyball proved their focus was entirely on Abilene Christian on Thursday night, dominating the Wildcats in a 3-0 sweep at Prather Coliseum.

Hannah Brister set the tone early with 11 kills in the opening set, as the Lady Demons (16-7, 8-1 SLC) made easy work of the Wildcats (5-14, 3-6 SLC) for their eighth straight win, tying the NSU record for the longest winning streak.

“We’ve got a great thing going right now,” coach Sean Kiracofe said. “The girls are playing great together and we’re happy with the way things are going.”

Brister was nearly unstoppable on the night, tying a career best with 24 kills in the match, with 11 in the first and 10 more in the second on just two errors.

“I think the technical term is it was bonkers,” coach Sean Kiracofe said. “Eleven kills in the first set is just a crazy number and it was an impressive night.”

The first set was by far the closest of the three on the night. The Lady Demons used the opening frame to see how Abilene Christian were playing then used that knowledge to dominate the remainder of the match.

A 9-1 run by NSU midway through the set, that included four kills from Brister, pushed the advantage strongly to the Lady Demons favor. NSU led 22-13 before a late ACU 7-2 run made the first set score closer than play would have indicated at 25-20 NSU.

The Lady Demons showed little let up in the final two sets of the night. A 9-1 start to the second gave them a comfortable lead they would turn into a 17-4 lead after two more kills form Brister and another from Skylar Besch.

Brister’s 21stkill capped the most prolific hitting set of the night as NSU finished with a .469 attack percentage, earning 19 total kills on 32 attempts.

ACU stayed close with the Lady Demons early in the third, but yet another 9-1 run turned a one-point match into a runaway as Alexis Warren carried the load with three kills during that stretch.

“A lot of compliments to the team on not looking ahead to Stephen F. Austin,” coach Sean Kiracofe said. “They took the scout and new exactly what they needed to do. The things that ACU can do well they’re awesome at and for us to be able to take those things away defensively and turn those out into points is a great job.”

The Lady Demons hit over .400 for the match for the second time this season and held their opponent below .200 for the 12thtime.

NSU takes on the top team in the Southland Conference on Saturday afternoon as they host Stephen F. Austin beginning at 1 p.m.

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Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services